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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The effects of early season and late season prescribed fires on small mammals in a Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest

Published source details

Monroe M.E. & Converse S.J. (2006) The effects of early season and late season prescribed fires on small mammals in a Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest. Forest Ecology and Management, 236, 229-240


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Burn at specific time of year Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, randomized, controlled, before-and-after study in 2001–2004 of a coniferous woodland in California, USA (Monroe & Converse 2006) found that carrying out prescribed burns in autumn did not increase small mammal abundances or biomass relative to burning in summer. Timing of burning did not significantly affect abundances of deer mice Peromyscus maniculatus or lodgepole chipmunks Neotamias speciosus or overall small mammal biomass (results presented as model outputs). Nine plots, 15–20 ha in area, were studied. Three were burned between 28 September and 28 October 2001 and three were burned on 20 or 27 June 2002. Three plots were not burned. Treatments were allocated randomly to plots. Small mammals were sampled by live-trapping over eight consecutive nights and days each year. Sampling occurred in June–August 2001 (pre-treatment) and in June–September of 2002 and 2003 and June–August 2004.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)

Use prescribed burning Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, randomized, controlled, before-and-after study in 2001–2004 of a coniferous woodland in California, USA (Monroe & Converse 2006) found that prescribed fire did not increase the abundance of small mammals. Deer mouse Peromyscus maniculatus abundance was not significantly higher on burned than on unburned plots (results presented as modelled effect size). Similarly, lodgepole chipmunk Neotamias speciosus abundance and total small mammal biomass were not significantly higher in burned than in unburned plots. Nine plots, 15–20 ha in area, were studied. Three were burned between 28 September and 28 October 2001 and three were burned on 20 or 27 June 2002. Three plots were not burned. Treatments were allocated randomly to plots. Small mammals were sampled by live-trapping over eight consecutive nights and days each year. Sampling occurred in June–August 2001 (pre-treatment) and in June–September of 2002 and 2003 and June–August 2004.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)